Microsoft is building a digital identity system on the Bitcoin blockchain. Here we take a look at digital identity and the specifics of Microsoft’s project – together with a consideration of why blockchain and why Bitcoin blockchain.
Microsoft & its Blockchain-based ID System
For more than a year, US technology company Microsoft has been examining its options in terms of the development of a blockchain-based digital identity system.
Going back further still, the idea of using blockchain technology for this purpose sprung out of 12 months of consideration as regards how the company could best utilize the emerging technology.
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At the time, the company decided that digital identity was a problem that needed to be solved. According to that blog post, the company’s Principal Program Officer within the Identity Division, Ankur Patel, stated:
“[Our efforts are] aimed at enabling richer experiences, enhancing trust, and reducing friction while empowering every person to own and control their Digital Identity.”
Microsoft identified breaches of trust in terms of the use of personal data together with identity theft as being key drivers behind the development of a credible digital identity system. The company felt that privacy could be designed in – if it made it a key requirement of any new system.
Why Blockchain and Why the Bitcoin Blockchain?
Microsoft cited a need to create digital identities that people had control of. With centralized systems, that’s simply not possible. However, decentralized blockchain networks do possess the necessary attributes to facilitate this. Once a person has control over a blockchain-based identity, he/she can use it dynamically and attach varying credentials to it as per their own requirements.
As well as identity sovereignty, blockchain-based